• Follow us

Health

Genetic Mutation in "CRISPR Babies" May Shorten Lifespan

When Chinese scientist He Jiankui edited the genes of twin baby girls last year, he said he was doing it to protect them against HIV infection; their father was HIV-positive. The now-disgraced scientist has said he did not want the girls to get the virus, which causes AIDS, because of a severe stigma against it in China.

But a new study suggests that he may have subjected them to a danger separate from the risk of catching HIV. The intended gene mutation appears to shorten people’s lives by nearly two years, according to a study published Monday in Nature Medicine.

“JK was foolish in choosing this gene to mutate, because he may have compromised lifespan in the two girls,” says British stem cell scientist Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Institute, referring to He by his nickname. Lovell-Badge was not involved in the new study.  

The so-called delta-32 mutation appears to make people resistant to HIV when it occurs on both copies of the CCR5 gene—one inherited from each parent; while one copy of the mutation provides somewhat weaker protection.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley looked for this common CCR5-delta-32 mutation in a database of more than 400,000 middle-aged and older volunteers in the United Kingdom. In the database, people who naturally had two copies of the mutated gene were found to be 20 percent more likely to die by age 76 than those with either one copy or none. In addition, there were fewer volunteers with the double mutation than would be expected by its prevalence in the general British population, suggesting that the missing people had died or were not healthy enough to volunteer, says the study’s lead author, April Wei. People with only one copy of the mutation lived just as long as those with no copies.

Scientists cannot yet explain the connection between the gene mutation and a shortened lifespan, says Wei, an evolutionary geneticist and postdoctoral student at Berkeley. But it may be because the mutation also seems to be associated with an increased vulnerability to viruses like the flu and West Nile.

He’s experiment marked the first time that a human embryo had been gene-edited and then allowed to develop until birth. Gene-edited cells in an adult are not passed down to future generations (unless they are reproductive cells), and medical treatments that target these genes are considered preliminary but promising. Edits to an embryo change the genetic code of most of its cells and are passed down to future generations. Some people consider all edits to an embryo immoral, while others, including Lovell-Badge, can see some benefit to gene edits that prevent an otherwise unavoidable disease. But many say the science is too premature for human use.

The global scientific community reacted with outrage to news of He’s gene edits. Scientists nearly universally condemned the fact that he had edited embryonic genes, as well as the choice of gene and the process he used to inform the families of what he was doing. The World Health Organization, several national academies, and scientific groups have since called for (or considered) a global moratorium on gene editing.

He has been fired from his position at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, and has disappeared from public view, though he did dispute claims earlier this year that he had been arrested. In the saga’s latest installment, a Stanford bioethicist told STATlast week that he advised the Chinese scientist not to respond to requests from a fertility clinic in Dubai, among others, who wanted to learn his gene-editing techniques.

At issue now is whether human embryo gene editing should be regulated by governments. Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley has come down against regulation. It too often limits legitimate science, says Daley, a stem cell scientist who has faced stifling government regulation in his own field. But Daley says the new study is a reminder that scientists’ understanding of genetics remains limited. “It’s a lesson in humility, I think, more than anything,” Daley says. “What this study also is concrete evidence of is the ignorance that we have.”

The CCR5 gene has been well studied in connection with its apparent protection against HIV, but not much in other contexts, says Lovell-Badge. The double mutation has also been associated with improvements in mental ability in mice and recovery from stroke in humans. The gene is known to be active in the central nervous system, including the brain, so it may have some neurological effect that is as-yet not understood, Lovell-Badge says. “We really don’t understand what it’s doing,” he says. “Its role is in the immune system is not entirely clear, and we really don’t understand what it’s doing in the brain.”

A single copy of the mutation probably offers some benefit, Lovell-Badge says, or it would not be as common as it is among people of northern European ancestry. But if it has a negative effect only after someone is too old to reproduce, evolution would not limit its frequency. Such an effect would only just be noticeable when looking at huge numbers of people, as in this study, Lovell-Badge says.

People from Africa and Asia are far less likely to have the delta-32 mutation, which also raises questions about it will affect the Chinese girls and another embryo whose genes He edited but whose birth has not yet been publicly announced.

It is also unclear whether He succeeded in mutating both copies of the gene in one of the girls; the editing was not successful in the second girl, and it is not clear what will happen with the third edited embryo.

Lovell-Badge says editing embryos may have a place in science, but with our current understanding of genetics, it should only be used to prevent actual diseases that will unavoidably result from the child’s birth, such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease.

“I would do something for which there’s going to be an obvious clinical benefit from altering a gene,” he says. “Generally, that should be correcting a gene defect back to a normal variant—rather than what [He] was doing, [attempting to enhance] the babies to make them resistant to HIV, when in fact, he’s done who-knows-what damage.”

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

Scientific American: Health

Is BMI an Accurate Way to Measure Body 2019-06-22 10:00:00As widespread as the BMI method of body measurement is, the ever-growing consensus is that this one-size-fits-all approach may be flawed -- Read more

Antiperspirant Boosts Armpit and Toe-Web Microbial Diversity 2019-06-21 20:00:00Rather than wiping microbes out, antiperspirants and foot powders increased the diversity of microbial flora in armpits and between toes. Christopher

The Biggest Health Problem: Obesity 2019-06-21 11:00:00A sugary beverage tax is just a start, but it exemplifies the population-wide approach we need -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Biothreats, Real and Imagined 2019-06-21 07:00:00We have more to fear from natural pathogens than from biological weapons -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Are Omega-3 Eggs as Good as Eating Fish? 2019-06-20 11:30:00Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. But what if you can't eat seafood? Can omega-3 enriched eggs or peanut butter provide the same health benefits?

"Flesh Eating" Bacteria May Be Spreading to Beaches 2019-06-18 15:00:00The bacteria, which normally live in warmer waters, have caused infections in waters near Delaware and New Jersey -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.c

How Does Insulin Work in Our Bodies? 2019-06-17 16:00:00What is insulin and how do our bodies use it? -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

The Cannabis Culture Wars 2019-06-14 07:00:00Engaging with enthusiasts and alarmists alike can take its toll on one’s patience -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

You Contain Multitudes of Microplastics 2019-06-13 16:57:00People appear to consume between 74,000 and 121,000 microplastic particles annually, and that's probably a gross underestimate. -- Read more on Sc

Race Matters to the Health of African-American Men 2019-06-13 07:00:00The recent, premature death of director John Singleton is a tragic case in point -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

The 2019 Worldwide Fitness Trends 2019-06-11 16:15:00The annual survey of worldwide fitness trends is now in its 13th year -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Russian Biologist Plans More CRISPR-Edited Babies 2019-06-11 16:00:00The proposal follows a Chinese scientist who claimed to have created twins from edited embryos last year -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

MedicineNet Daily News

Still Too Much Processed Meat, Too Little Fish 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: Still Too Much Processed Meat, Too Little Fish in U.S. DietsCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21/2019

'Unprofessional' Surgeons Hurt Patient Outcomes: Study 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: 'Unprofessional' Surgeons Hurt Patient Outcomes: StudyCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21/2019 12:

Marijuana Use by U.S. Teens Has Jumped 10-fold 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: Marijuana Use by U.S. Teens Has Jumped 10-fold Since 1990sCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21/2019 1

How Do Birth Defects Affect Childhood Cancer Risk? 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: How Do Birth Defects Affect Childhood Cancer Risk?Category: Health NewsCreated: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21/2019 12:00:00

'Lost Wallet' Test Reveals How Honest People Are 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: 'Lost Wallet' Test Reveals How Honest People AreCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21/2019 12:00:00

AHA News: This Faulty Gene May Help Predict 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: AHA News: This Faulty Gene May Help Predict Heart Muscle DiseaseCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21/

Health Tip: Understanding Cavities 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: Health Tip: Understanding CavitiesCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM

Young Adults Growing 'Horns' Due to Smartphone Use: 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: Young Adults Growing 'Horns' Due to Smartphone Use: ResearchersCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21

More Than 5 Million U.S. Cancer Survivors Deal 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: More Than 5 Million U.S. Cancer Survivors Deal With Chronic PainCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21/

Rates of Drug-, Alcohol-Linked Death Triple After Weight-Loss 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: Rates of Drug-, Alcohol-Linked Death Triple After Weight-Loss SurgeryCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review:

Cell Mapping Provides New Insights About Asthma 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: Cell Mapping Provides New Insights About AsthmaCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM

How Working Out in Anger Can Put You 2019-06-22 03:00:00Title: How Working Out in Anger Can Put You at RiskCategory: Health NewsCreated: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM

Santé

É.-U.: un enfant à l'urgence toutes les deux 2019-06-17 11:36:00Les produits de soins personnels ont envoyé un enfant à l'urgence aux deux heures chez nos voisins du sud entre 2002 et 2016, selon une

Ottawa investit 50 millions pour la prévention de 2019-06-17 08:38:00Le gouvernement fédéral dévoile lundi une stratégie nationale sur la démence axée sur la prévention,

Gare à la rougeole en France et en 2019-06-17 07:00:00Les Canadiens et les Américains qui voyagent en Europe, notamment en France et en Italie, doivent s'assurer d'être à jour d

Cancer de la prostate : Marche du Courage Jean 2019-06-16 07:55:00La première Marche du Courage Jean Pagé, rebaptisée en l'honneur de l'ancien animateur sportif, se déroulera dimanche en

Pratiquer la pêche serait excellent pour la santé 2019-06-15 19:33:00Comment garder la pêche? En s'adonnant tout simplement à la pêche pendant ses loisirs.

Plus de 11 500 décès liés aux surdoses d'opioïdes 2019-06-13 17:32:00Les surdoses apparemment liées aux opioïdes ont coûté la vie à 11 577 Canadiens de janvier 2016 à d&e

Québec accorde plus de pouvoirs aux pharmaciens 2019-06-13 10:40:00La ministre de la Santé et des Services sociaux, Danielle McCann, donne plus de pouvoirs aux pharmaciens. Ces derniers pourront prescrire et ad

Des experts recommandent un régime national d'assurance médicaments 2019-06-12 10:58:00Le gouvernement fédéral considère un rapport qui lui recommande de mettre en place un régime d'assurance médicamen

Nouvel espoir contre la leucémie à Sainte-Justine 2019-06-12 06:41:00Un médicament déjà approuvé pour traiter l'insuffisance cardiaque est aussi en mesure d'inhiber un gène qui perme

Centre de recherche du CHUM: fraudé pendant 14 ans 2019-06-12 05:00:00Quatre membres d'une même famille font face à plusieurs chefs d'accusation pour avoir fraudé le Centre de recherche du CHUM, de

Appels d'offres de 1 milliard pour construire 30 2019-06-11 22:30:00Trois appels d'offres pour la construction de 30 «maisons des aînés» et «pavillons alternatifs» comprenant 2600

Une meilleure santé mentale chez les ados grâce 2019-06-09 10:49:00Pour les jeunes enfants, le fait de participer à des sports organisés de façon continue est lié à une meilleure san

Radio-Canada | Santé

La zoothérapie a la cote auprès des psychologues 2019-06-16 07:31:00De plus en plus de professionnels se tournent vers la zoothérapie pour leurs interventions. Psychologues, psychoéducateurs et travailleu

2018, l'année où le plus de Québécois ont 2019-06-15 10:15:00Les Québécois seront-ils encore plus affectés en 2019 qu’en 2018 par le virus du Nil? L’année dernière

Les pharmaciens pourront prescrire et administrer des vaccins 2019-06-12 04:35:00C’est la deuxième étape du plan de la ministre québécoise Danielle McCann pour faciliter l’accès aux se

Augmentation des cas d'ingestion de détergent en sachet 2019-06-11 19:51:00Au Québec comme aux États-Unis, le nombre de personnes de plus de cinq ans qui se sont intoxiquées avec du détergent en sa

L’Ontario participe au recours collectif contre les fabricants 2019-05-26 22:35:00Le gouvernement ontarien a annoncé son intention de se joindre au recours collectif proposé par la Colombie-Britannique contre des dizai

Crise des opioïdes : une motion pour demander 2019-05-23 15:53:00Le député néo-démocrate de Sudbury, Jamie West, demandera au gouvernement ontarien de déclarer un état d'ur

Les AVC mineurs moins diagnostiqués chez les femmes 2019-05-23 10:56:00Les femmes sont moins susceptibles de recevoir un diagnostic d'accident vasculaire cérébral (AVC) mineur que les hommes lorsqu'elles s

Le programme saskatchewanais d’évaluation des médicaments est jugé 2019-05-23 10:03:00Un pharmacien autochtone milite pour intégrer les Premières Nations et les Inuits au programme saskatchewanais d'évaluation des

Près de 25 millions de dollars pour la 2019-05-22 16:08:00Après la légalisation du cannabis, en octobre dernier, Ottawa souhaite en étudier les effets, notamment sur le neurodévelo

L'insécurité alimentaire progresse au Nunavut malgré les efforts 2019-05-22 09:40:00L'insécurité alimentaire au Nunavut a augmenté après la mise en place d'un programme fédéral de lutte cont

Global News : Health

FDA approves ‘female Viagra,’ could tap potential $1 2019-06-21 21:15:26Vyleesi, chemically known as bremelanotide, activates pathways in the brain involved in sexual desire, helping premenopausal women with hypoactive sex

Health Canada warns ‘wakefulness-promoting drug’ may cause fetal 2019-06-21 16:26:35The FDA has labelled modafinil as a "wakefulness-promoting drug," that essentially helps patients with "excessive sleepiness."

Bill banning junk food ads to kids may 2019-06-21 12:38:24Advocates worry that a bill designed to restrict junk food ads targeted at children could die on the order paper before the next election.

Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi gets real about mastitis, a 2019-06-21 12:28:41Mastitis is a common side effect of breastfeeding and is often caused by a blocked duct.

B.C. health minister promises crackdown on youth vaping 2019-06-21 10:24:24Adrian Dix made the promise in the wake of new research that found vaping among Canadian teens skyrocketed 74 per cent in one year.

How your doctor behaves may impact your recovery 2019-06-20 15:44:42A new study found that surgeons who model "unprofessional behavior" may increase the risk of medical errors and complications for patients.

Flashing lights at concerts can trigger seizures, study 2019-06-20 15:23:10Flashing strobe lights at concerts can be troublesome for people with epilepsy, a Dutch study has found.

More millennial women say they feel lonely — 2019-06-20 13:50:09A new poll found that six in 10 young women wish they had someone to talk to, but don’t.

Here’s why you might ‘black out’ when you’re 2019-06-20 12:18:28Stressful situations, like job interviews and first dates, can interfere your brain's memory-making process.

Conservative MPs call for inquiry as veterans, families 2019-06-20 05:00:41Mefloquine is an anti-malarial drug used by the Canadian Armed Forces since 1992 in deployments including Somalia, Congo, Rwanda and Afghanistan.

Tracking your symptoms might make you feel worse, 2019-06-18 15:51:32"By monitoring something, you can change the thing you're seeking to understand."

Reality check: Does wearing a hat cause hair 2019-06-18 15:05:16Hair loss can affect anyone, but are hat wearers at a greater risk?

Santé

Vapotage chez les ados: des règlements plus sévères 2019-06-22 19:22:43La Société canadienne du cancer et les groupes antitabac appellent Québec et Ottawa à en faire beaucoup plus pour emp&ecir

[PHOTOS] La science contre le cancer 2019-06-22 00:00:00Jérémi Rousseau, 14 ans, n’avait aucune idée de ce qui l’attendait lorsqu’il est entré à l’

[PHOTOS] Quand la malchance s’acharne sur une même 2019-06-22 00:00:00La malchance s’est acharnée sur une famille de Lévis, dont les deux enfants sont tous deux atteints de maladies géné

[PHOTOS] Une tumeur au cerveau lui fait prendre 2019-06-22 00:00:00Après une opération pour une tumeur au cerveau à l’âge de 9 ans et une chirurgie bariatrique à 14 ans, Maria R

[PHOTOS] Un grand prématuré combatif 2019-06-22 00:00:00Arrivé bien avant son temps, Nathen a fait craindre le pire à ses parents, alors que son petit corps n’était pas encore tou

[PHOTOS] Une miraculée déjoue les pronostics 2019-06-22 00:00:00Âgée de 4 ans et ayant une malformation cardiaque très rare, Olivia a subi quatre opérations à cœur ouvert ava

[PHOTOS] Opéré à cœur ouvert à 18 jours 2019-06-22 00:00:00Avant même de venir au monde, le petit Eden promettait toute une montagne russe d’émotions à ses parents, alors que son c&oe

[PHOTOS] Plus forte que la maladie 2019-06-22 00:00:00Véritable boule d’énergie, Nely d’Almeida affirme ne jamais avoir eu peur du cancer qui la rongeait de l’intéri

[PHOTOS] Une princesse affronte le cancer avec le 2019-06-22 00:00:00Atteinte de leucémie, Kaissy Gilbert, âgée de 6 ans, a frôlé la mort à deux reprises entre ses traitements de

[PHOTOS] Ces enfants qui affrontent courageusement la maladie 2019-06-22 00:00:00Le courage, voilà ce qui définit les jeunes présentés dans les pages de ce cahier.

Réseau de la santé: plus de moyens réclamés 2019-06-21 17:20:02Les syndicats somment la CNESST de mettre plus de moyens pour agir en prévention.

Surdose accidentelle de fentanyl: la mère de la 2019-06-20 19:13:48Les parents de l'enfant victime d'une surdose accidentelle de Fentanyl envisagent fortement de poursuivre l'hôpital.


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.